Wednesday, August 31, 2011

drawing closer

-A stunning orange sunrise this morning.  It's going to be a good day.

-Going to a presbytery cluster meeting and seeing so many wonderful people I know and meeting a few other area ministers I didn't know yet.  I found myself one of the last to get in line for dinner (nothin' like a Presbyterian potluck, y'all) because I was so engrossed in conversation with folks and I was also one of the last to enter the meeting room, for the same reason.  There was a palpable sense of community in the place.

-Tiny leaves crunching underfoot in the front yard.  I'm sure they're more a result of the drought than the advent of fall, but I also sensed a slight coolness in the air.  Autumn's my favorite time of year (roasted butternut squash risotto! apple cider! scarves!) and so it's a hopeful thing to know that, with each day, it's drawing closer.

Monday, August 29, 2011

it's about time

-Sitting outside in the shade with my precious (windblown) dog while reading a captivating book and sipping on a frosty iced coffee.

-A Saturday of sister time: we spent the whole day together shopping, eating, seeing a movie and just relaxing.  It was a perfect day.

-Impeccable timing (by happy coincidence, not planned).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

hugs & kisses & cats & dogs

Here are a few more pics of those precious nieces of mine... (They were playing in the bathtub by attacking each other with kisses and giggling with glee.  Adorable.)

And here are my glimpses of grace from today:

-Rain, o glorious rain!  We've been desperate for rain and so the sudden thunderstorm this afternoon was thoroughly delightful.

-Going to a Presbyterian Women gathering at First Pres. and seeing so many fabulous women.  It's a wonderful thing to enter a building and get hug after hug.

-Discovering a new musician I love already.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

zoosday tuesday

I've had so much fun the last few days with my nieces.  They came to church, went to the library and today was the zoo!  This morning started off with the girls making bacon-cheddar biscuits (YUM) with Papa.  They were delicious (proven by the fact that I ate them too quickly to take a picture).

 Full of biscuits (and coffee for Aunt Weeza) and decked out in safari hats and glittery sunglasses, we headed to the zoo!  Now, I should warn you: when I'm around my nieces, they're so gosh darn cute that I turn into the paparazzi.  I just can't help myself taking pictures (and I know my sista's gonna want to see them!), so get ready for LOTS of snaps.

 Cute sisters holding hands.

A very well-accessorized Gigi holding my hand (one-handed camera skills! impressed?). 

Natalie walking with Papa and Nonnie. 

Our zoo adventure began with a tapir sighting while Gigi continued to look like a safari diva.

Then came a precious little monkey.  Both girls spoke "monkey" to it ("oo oo ah ah!"). 

Then there was a fun community lesson on chickens, complete with making our own little chickens. 

 We saw a gorgeous, vibrant peacock.

And Natalie fed some chickens. 

 Then, it was on to the petting zoo!  These sheep were extra cuddly (but must be SO hot in wool in the Texas sun).

 This goat was giving Gianna quite the look.

It later tried to find the goldfish crackers in her bag. 

 Both girls loved the bunny rabbits.

(This might be my favorite picture from the day.) 

The look on this goat's face is pretty priceless. 

Natalie then conducted her very own train. (Also a favorite pic from the day!)


There were lots of colorful birds.

This little cheeky fellow was my favorite. 

Then, we got a lesson about reptiles and pet some turtles... 

  ...and a lizard.  

 And then things got a little more adventurous (gulp!).

 Gigi the little monkey getting a ride with Papa.

 And a couple of artsy shots...

So much fun!  Love those precious nieces of mine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

clouds, welcoming committee, coffee

-Gorgeous, fluffy clouds lit by a pink sunrise.  (I brought my early-rising nieces outside to look at it.  Natalie's response: "Clouds look like Hayden!")

-My nieces greeting me by shouting "Weeeezzzaa!" and barreling down the hallway to attack me with hugs.

-The first sip of a delectably decadent hazelnut latte.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

erin comes to town

My fabulous friend from seminary, Erin, has been here visiting me for the past few days.  We haven't seen each other in way too long and I had a great time showing her some Texan hospitality.  We had the best time at Port Aransas (my favorite place to go in the summer) just relaxing on the beach and wading into the warm, salty water.  Erin also found a fantastic hat to beat that persistent Texas sun.

Then I took Erin to Goliad to see the Mission Espiritu Santo and Presidio La Bahia.  The Mission was just that (a mission) and La Bahia was an old fort. Both have amazing chapels (which I knew a fellow churchy person like Erin would love). She said they reminded her of what she saw in Merida, Mexico.

I love the doors to the Mission. 

  I always have to take a picture of this font.  It's the most beautiful one I've seen.  (Though, like everything in Texas, it could use a little water.)

 Erin giving the impressive pulpit a try.

Yes, were both Presbyterian ministers, but we have no qualms about a little Catholic candle lighting for prayer.

 Erin having a Jackie O moment.

Then we moved on to La Bahia.

  Where the hardware was amazing, with brilliant turquoise oxidation.

The chapel had beautiful statues.

And more of those prayerful candles. 

 (How cool is that rainbow the light made?  Holy ground, indeed.)

We also enjoyed lunch at the Blue Quail and a little stroll 
around the square in Goliad.  

What a charming place.  And a wonderful time with Erin.  There's nothing better than a few days with an old friend spent drinking wine and talking life, exploring some of my favorite Texas places together and just relaxing.  My dog Hayden's a bit infatuated with Erin...I better check her suitcase before she gets on the plane tomorrow! :)